Kentucky is Crawling With Bed Bugs, 3 Cities Among Most Infested

Bed bugs are minuscule, blood-sucking insects that infest homes, hotels, and sleeping quarters, proving notoriously challenging to eradicate. Their presence can lead to skin rashes, allergic reactions, and emotional distress. According to a recent report from Orkin, a leading pest control company, Kentucky stands among the states most affected by bed bug cases nationwide. In fact, three of its cities rank within the top 50 most infested cities in the US. Here’s a breakdown of this concerning situation and tips on preventing and managing bed bug infestations.

The Severity of Bed Bug Infestations in Kentucky

Orkin’s 2024 Bed Bug Cities List, which evaluates cities based on the number of bed bug treatments conducted by the company from January to December 2023, reveals that Louisville holds the 11th position as the most infested city in the US.

Following closely are Lexington at 34th and Bowling Green at 49th. These rankings signify a substantial rise in bed bug activity compared to the previous year, with Louisville climbing four spots, Lexington six spots, and Bowling Green a significant 16 spots. Notably, Ohio is the only other state with three cities in the top 50, with Columbus claiming the unfortunate title of the most infested city in the country.

The causes behind Kentucky’s high prevalence of bed bugs remain unclear, though potential factors may include increased travel, lack of awareness, and the insects’ resistance to pesticides. Bed bugs can easily hitchhike on luggage, clothing, and furniture, spreading unnoticed. Moreover, some bed bugs have developed resistance to common insecticides, complicating eradication efforts.

Preventing Bed Bug Infestations

To stave off bed bug infestations, it’s crucial to prevent their entry into your home or workplace:

  • Thoroughly inspect luggage, clothing, and belongings for signs of bed bugs before and after traveling.
  • Avoid placing luggage or belongings directly on hotel floors, beds, or furniture; instead, use luggage racks or plastic bags.
  • Wash and dry clothing and bedding on high heat after traveling or staying in potentially infested areas.
  • Seal cracks and gaps where bed bugs can hide in walls, floors, or furniture.
  • Regularly vacuum floors, carpets, furniture, and mattresses, disposing of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag afterward.
  • Exercise caution when acquiring used furniture, thoroughly inspecting it for signs of bed bugs and treating it appropriately before bringing it indoors.

Managing Bed Bug Infestations

If you suspect or confirm a bed bug infestation, take these steps:

  • Contact a licensed pest control company experienced in dealing with bed bugs.
  • Follow the company’s instructions for preparation and treatment.
  • Cooperate with the pest control company and monitor the effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Educate yourself and others on bed bug prevention and treatment to raise awareness in your community.

Conclusion

Bed bugs pose a serious challenge in Kentucky and beyond, impacting both individuals and businesses. However, with diligent prevention and effective treatment, bed bug infestations can be controlled. By staying vigilant, proactive, and cooperative, you can maintain a bed bug-free environment and ensure restful sleep.

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